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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Olivia's Elon/Greensboro NC Adventure (Long Post)

Over Christmas Brian's crown got ripped off his tooth by a gummy worm. I felt bad for him but I could see no way this would have to involve me, unless I had to drive him locally to a Dr.'s appointment.

Well, as it turns out, I did have to go with him to an appointment for his tooth. Four. Hours. Away. UGH.

Brian and I met at college his Sr. year/my Jr. year. That first spring we were dating Brian needed a crown and a root canal. Both appointments were less than five minutes from either of our apartments and I would go shopping or sit at Starbucks and do homework. No biggie.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Brian went to a dentist here in town, he had to take a half day of work to go. They told him his crown removed a filling and so that also had to be replaced as well as a new crown made and attached. The bill was somewhere around $1500.00. Ouch. The local dentist suggested he call the dentist who did the crown, the dentist four hours away at school. So Brian called and the dentist said the crown was under warranty but the filling was there and not his so that would have to be something Brian was charged for. Brian decided that a trip to school was a better option and an appointment was made. Which brings us to yesterday.

My best friend is finishing her Sr. year so I made plans to hang out with her around campus while Brian got his filling done and his crown mold made. We brought Olivia along for the trip as well. (Good thing my mom reminded me to pack her dinner.)

Olivia is always happy to be included

We made it up to school, got Brian's prescription for a sedative, and ate lunch at Panera Bread (my favorite and there isn't one close to our house). Olivia enjoyed getting little pieces of sourdough bread for doing tricks while we ate outside.

Olivia got her own chair
After Panera we visited a local pet store (not the type that actually sells pets other than birds and small rodent-like pets). Olivia was mesmerized by some small active birds in a low cage, I had to tell Brian to drag her away from them because I wasn't sure she wouldn't try to get at them. We bought some healthy dog treats and then I took Brian to the dentist and met up with my best friend.

Olivia got to visit campus where here
Mommy and Daddy met

I got a call not thirty minutes later that Brian didn't need a filling but actually a root canal and we had to drive thirty minutes to a specialist to have it done. Right Now. So Olivia and I hopped back in the car, got Brian and sped off to Greensboro. My friend's parting response to my "what the heck am I going to do in Greensboro with a dog?!" was to look up a free dog park she'd heard of.

Brian was quite goofy by this point from the sedative and while he gave me directions to the Dr. I had him also look up the dog park and text me the address. I dropped him off on time, found the park that the dog park was supposedly some where within, and saw no dog park. I parked, grabbed Olivia, her "baby" bag, and set off down the path. I figured if nothing else we could go for a nice walk.

I would like to say the park was great. But i'm not sure I can. For certain there were a lot of people enjoying the nice day with dogs, with children, with friends, with spouses. But my main annoyance was the amount of dog poop everywhere. Even within feet of signs that asked owners to pick up after their pet along with a dispenser of poop bags. One person had bagged their dog's poop and had simply left the tied off bag on the ground. How is that helpful? And it wasn't just a few piles. They were EVERYWHERE. 

After walking almost the full length of the hilly track we finally found the off-leash dog park. Yay! There were even dogs there playing. I have to say I'm a little wary of these sorts of situations, the dogs and people being strangers and all, but all the dogs were on the smaller size and all playing really well together. The owners were playing with the dogs, not just sitting around texting or ignoring their pets and I liked that too. So in we went and I took Olivia's leash off and she trotted off. Only, she was more interested in the people than the dogs haha. Every time a dog would come say hi she would let them and then run back to me like "is this ok? am I ok?" Just as Olivia was beginning to "get" the dog park atmosphere and dynamics, her new found friends began trickling out with their owners, leaving just the two of us. We took this opportunity to play fetch with the muddy balls that had been left behind. 

The park had its rules clearly and visibly stated 

There was more than one chain link enclosure and a girl and her large mix breed went into the other pen and we're playing fetch too. Then an older woman arrived and terror struck. The older woman had her own Pomeranian as well as her disabled neighbor's small white fluffy dog. She obviously saw Olivia and I (we made eye contact) but she still chose to bring her two small dogs in with the big dog oppose with Olivia and I. I can't for the life of me figure that out, if I were her I would have put my small dogs with the other small dog. 

The older woman asked the girl if her dog was friendly, "yes". So the woman and the two small dogs entered the pen. The other girl leashed her dog while they came in. The older woman explained the white one was her neighbor's and he could be a little aggressive (why bring him to a dog park then?!?!) but that the Pom, her own dog, was friendly. The bigger dog sorta dragged his girl to the aggressive one, wanting to play and got snapped at. This happened more than once... and then.. .the big dog grabbed the small one and thrashed him like he was a stuffed animal. The girl started screaming at her dog and pulling on the back of her head trying to get her to release the small dog from her jaws. The older woman was pulling on the little dog. The two human were screaming and crying and Olivia ran then fence line barking while I looked on with horror. 

What scared me most was the little one being thrashed made no noise, and I thought the big dog had him by the throat (luckily it was his shoulder instead) and I was certain he was dead. It seemed like a long time passed, but it was only a few minutes, I'm sure, and the big dog released the small one who scampered away, alive and bleeding. 

At this point, knowing the out come of the situation, I put Olivia on her leash and packed our belongings and booked it out of there. But not before hearing this exchange:

Older woman: "I need your information. I have to take him to the vet"

Girl: "Yes, of course, oh my God. My dog has never attacked any other dog"

Older woman: "Well she certainly has now"

It was a frightening thing to witness, and I wondered if the big dog's owner had picked the pen Olivia and I were in if Olivia would have been the one harmed. This was exactly the sort of thing I had been worried/nervous about when first assessing the dog park upon arrival. It ended as well as it could have, and for the most part Olivia and I enjoyed our time (it was good for Olivia to run around out of the car) at the park. But I'm not sure we will be going to any other dog parks any time soon.

Brian's dental work finished up, we got dinner with my best friend, and we headed home. Olivia was exhausted from her long day... and so was I.

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